Beyoncé Knowles Honored; Smokey Robinson, Gloria Gaynor and Ethan Bortnick Perform at “Party of the Year”
Diamond Ball & Private Concert Raises $12 Million for Miami Children's Hospital Foundation
The stars shone brightly at the Miami Children’s Hospital Foundation Diamond Ball & Private Concert as acclaimed luminaries Beyoncé Knowles, Smokey Robinson and Gloria Gaynor, joined by musical prodigy Ethan Bortnick, took the stage at AmericanAirlines Arena for the charity event of the year.
The second-annual star-studded gala raised approximately $12 million for children’s healthcare research and programs at Miami Children’s Hospital, far surpassing last year’s total. Dr. Rafael Herrera and family donated $10 million toward the Miami Children’s Hospital Research Institute.
“We pulled out all the stops to make this the event of the year and it proved to be exactly that,” stated Foundation President Lucy Morillo. “No matter what economic climate we face our benefactors are very passionate about supporting children’s healthcare initiatives and they showed once again how generous this community can be.”
This year’s Diamond Ball & Private Concert was held for the first time at AmericanAirlines Arena, the state-of-the art facility in downtown Miami that hosts world-renowned concerts and events such as the Video Music Awards and Latin Grammys. The evening included a lavish dinner for 800 on the arena floor and spectacular entertainment co-produced by Grammy and Country Music Association (CMA) Awards supervising producer Tzvi Small and Black Entertainment Television (BET) Awards producer Ron Weisner.
For a $50 donation, thousands of additional Foundation sponsors and supporters were given select seats to witness Beyoncé’s induction into the Ambassador David M. Walters International Pediatric Hall of Fame and revel in musical performances by the legendary “King of Motown” Smokey Robinson, 70’s Diva Gloria Gaynor, who celebrated her 30th anniversary “I Will Survive” tour, and 7-year-old Ethan Bortnick, the exceptional piano prodigy who has performed with the likes of Sheryl Crow, Nelly Furtado and Natalie Cole.
The Diamond Ball & Private Concert was co-chaired by Patricia and Thomas Cornish, Vivian and Juan Carlos Mas, and Bibiana and Mario Murgado.
Beyoncé was inducted into the International Pediatric Hall of Fame for her contributions to the betterment of children through the Survivor Foundation, an organization she co-founded to provide transitional housing for Hurricane Katrina victims and evacuees in the Houston area. The Survivor Foundation extends the mission of the Knowles-Rowland Center for Youth, a multi-purpose community outreach facility in downtown Houston. Among the Foundation’s projects are the establishment of Knowles-Rowland Temenos Place Apartments and a partnership with Houston Habitat for Humanity to provide two homes for qualified families.
The evening was emceed by Carlos Ponce, who currently appears in NBC’s Lipstick Jungle, starred in the Telemundo soap opera Dame Chocolate (Give Me Chocolate), hosted the Miss Universe Pageant and was a correspondent for Entertainment Tonight. CBS 4 News Anchor Antonio Mora served as celebrity auctioneer for the event.
Sponsors of the 2008 Diamond Ball & Private Concert included: AmericanAirlines Arena, Comcast, Diamond House, Fiji Water, General Motors, Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce, Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce, Rene Ruiz Couture, Premier Beverage, and Tzvi Small and Ron Weisner.
Miami Children’s Hospital Foundation (MCHF) is a non-profit 501 (C) (3) organization whose sole mission is to create awareness and generate funds for Miami Children’s Hospital (MCH), the only licensed specialty hospital in South Florida exclusively for children. The
Foundation’s guiding principle is that children’s health care is the primary concern of all and that children are precious like diamonds and thus must have access to state-of-the-art pediatric care. MCH, a 289-bed freestanding facility, is Florida’s only pediatric hospital to be included in U.S. News & World Report’s 2007 listing of “America’s Best Children’s Hospitals.”